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Mark Hunter MBE
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Mark raced in the lightweight double scull with Zac Purchase. Following an extremely close race, the GB duo were pipped to the line by Denmark and took a silver medal.
Mark is the reigning Olympic Champion in the lightweight men's double scull and was awarded an MBE in the 2009 New Year's Honours list in recognition of his achievement. In the Olympic season with his crewmate Zac Purchase, Mark topped the World Cup series and produced majestic form at the Olympics to win GB's first ever lightweight medal and Olympic gold. In the final they dominated the race to produce an emphatic victory.
Mark was named the "Olympic Athlete of the Year" for 2011 for the sport of rowing, receiving the British Olympic Association's trophy at the GB Rowing Team Dinner.
During the 2012 World Cup Series, Mark and crewmate Zac Purchase raced in the lightweight men's double scull. The duo won gold in Belgrade, finished 5th in Lucerne and 6th in Munich.
At the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Mark raced in the lightweight men's double scull with Zac Purchase maintaining their title of World Champions beating New Zealand by just over a second
In Munich at the first World Cup of 2011 Mark and crewmate Zac Purchase in the lightweight men's double scull finished 4th. Zac was subsequently diagnosed with post-viral illness and did not race in Lucerne. Mark raced with Adam Freeman-Pask, finishing 8th.
At the 2011 GB Rowing Team Senior Trials held on 16-17 April at Eton/Dorney, Mark was placed 4th in the lightweight men's single scull.
In 2010 at the World Rowing Championships on New Zealand's Lake Karapiro, Mark and Zac proved they were back at their best by dominating the final of the lightweight men's double scull to become World Champions in a time of 7:13.47. Italy won silver and New Zealand the bronze.
Earlier in the season at the 2010 Munich World Cup, Mark raced in the lightweight double with Zac Purchase for the first time since their Olympic victory in Beijing. In a tight race they won their final and a gold medal.
Mark started rowing aged 14 at Poplar Blackwall & District Rowing Club. He had played county football, swum and tried various martial arts before deciding to direct all his time and effort into rowing. The ambition to represent his country and compete at the Olympics took hold at an early age.
In 1994 Mark won the junior 16 single at the National Championships and gained a place in the GB–France U16 Team. The following year after winning the Fawley Cup at Henley Royal Regatta, he raced in the quadruple scull at the World Rowing Junior Championships.
Mark raced at the World Rowing U23 Championships from 1997 to 2000 in the open weight quad and double. In 2001 he decided to race as a lightweight and has established himself as one of the leading rowers in the class. He stroked the lightweight eight in 2001 at the World Rowing Championships in Lucerne finishing 5th.
In 2002 Mark qualified as a Waterman & Lighterman on the River Thames and is now a Freeman of the Thames. In the Spring of 2000, as an apprentice, he competed in the Millennium Coat and Badge double sculls race. Each double was made up of a Freeman and an Apprentice. With his finals partner John Dwan he won the event and they were presented with uniforms in February 2001 at a special dinner held at Fishmongers Hall.
Mark raced in the lightweight men's four during the 2004 World Cup series and went on to represent his country in that boat at the Olympics in Athens.
In 2005 Mark finished 4th in the lightweight men's double scull at the Eton World Cup in May and 6th in the lightweight men's double scull at the Munich World Cup in June. He and James Lindsay–Fynn went on to win the B Final in this Olympic class at the 2005 World Rowing Championships in Japan.
The 2006 World Cup then brought further success with a bronze in Poznan and Munich, finishing with 6th place in Lucerne. Mark and James Lindsay–Fynn went on to compete at the World Rowing Championships at Eton in the lightweight double and were eighth overall.
After a long career as a leading lightweight rower Mark found real success in 2007. He raced the season in the double with Zac Purchase medalling at each World Cup with two silvers and a bronze. The duo then capped a great season with a bronze at the 2007 World Rowing Championships in Munich.
Following his Olympic triumph Mark took a break from rowing during the 2009 season and went out to coach at the UCLA in California. Watching his athletes train and compete with such a buzz and excitement reminded him why he loved training and racing so much, so - feeling totally refreshed - he returned to training with his sights set firmly on London 2012.
Mark enjoys watching and playing all sports from football to racquet sports and socialising with friends outside rowing.
Mark is Lottery Funded through UK Sport.